Domenick Anthony Cama Law, P.A.

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Key points about parental relocation with a child in Florida

On Behalf of | May 23, 2022 | Family Law |

Children are often caught square in the middle of a Florida family law case. Whether it is connected to custody, parenting time, or support, these cases can be emotional and challenging. Even after the case is complete, when child custody has been determined and there is a parenting plan in place, other problems might arise.

That includes the possibility that the custodial parent decides to relocate. Before overreacting and making the case even harder, it is important to be aware of the law and what it says about relocation.

What should I know about parental relocation?

In Florida, relocation refers to a parent moving to a different place of residence. To be legally considered a relocation, it must be a minimum of 50 miles from where the parent currently lives and they must reside there for at least 60 consecutive days.

Although these cases may seem controversial, some parents can agree to it and move forward with a new template with how the fundamentals like custody and parenting time will work.

For relationships that are friendly after the divorce, this would be a possibility. The parents must consent to the relocation, though, craft a new plan for time-sharing, and describe how travel will be addressed.

Without an agreement, the parent who wants to relocate must file a petition to do so. The other parent will be served the petition. The petition must contain the address of the new location, the home telephone number, when the move will take place, a list of reasons why the parent is moving, a proposal for the parenting time schedule after the move, and guidance for the other parent if they want to object to the move.

The noncustodial parent can contest the relocation and the court will assess the situation based on how it might impact the child; why the move is taking place; if there are siblings; the child’s age and developmental status; how the parent-child relationship will be impacted by the move; if the child has a preference and if they are deemed to be of sufficient maturity to present it; the quality of life; the reasons for the objection; the financial ramifications; and any other factor that will affect the child’s best interests.

Relocations can be complicated regardless of where the parent is going

Obviously, a move can present many concerns for the noncustodial parent, including how it might impact the time they get to spend with their child, the financial components, and if they have any recourse.

If the child is younger, it can be especially difficult. From the perspective of the relocating parent, they might want to move for a better job, to be close to family members, or to attend school. Regardless, it is important to understand this complicated issue from every perspective, including the child’s.

In relocation cases, it is possible that there might be a combination of family law and immigration law if the relocating party plans to move out of the United States with the child entirely. This adds a more complex layer to the case that requires advice specifically tailored to this situation.

Regardless of whether it is a move from one area of Florida to another, a move to a different state, or a person who is leaving the country, it is imperative to have experienced advice with the case to try and achieve an outcome that benefits all parties and avoids lingering hard feelings. Consulting with caring, experienced professionals can be helpful to try and reach a positive result for everyone concerned.